It is a buyers market for journalists and it is incredibly difficult to break into the national media. These 'baby hacks' have all probably got firsts in English and have a further journalism qualification from somewhere like Cardiff. They will work as interns for either free or expenses in the hope that they can be taken on but as you say, they are very disposable. They can write, can spell and can do grammar but that's not what Mail Online needs or wants.
Very few will go on to actually work for the printed version of the Mail and will probably end up working for one of the featured publications from the last round in Have I Got News For You, if they're lucky.
I doubt any got a first for English and, sorry vidalia, but they cannot write, spell or punctuate. Those who can are rare.
I worked with a bunch of would-be baby journalists recently, all of whom were doing post grads, and they still couldn't write. It's getting worse. A journalism degree means zilch to many. They love the idea but the talent is a rare as hen's teeth. they do not get beyond mediocre.
As I said in my earlier post, I know how the press works because that's what I do. I also know a couple of young journalists who did their stint at DM. They got paid well and got great expenses but, in time, felt they simply could not write the kind of carp that was expected of them. The perks could not make up for the dire editorial. Yup, they left - for less money and tad more integrity!